Receive the Holy Spirit. John 20:22
Mankind is sinful, and unworthy to receive the Holy Spirit. This is a legal barrier that makes it wrong for God to pour out His Spirit on sinners without a sacrifice for sin. But there is also the barrier of guilt in the human heart, as every sinner knows that they are unworthy to receive such a gift from God. However, justification is the declaration that God has accepted the sacrifice of Jesus. By this sacrifice He has made us legally acceptable before God. This legal acceptance is the meaning of the word ‘justified’. However, it is not just a deliverance from the negative; it is also the imputing of the positive. Imagine someone who is a debtor. They owe a million dollars. Christ, through His blood, has not only cancelled the debt, but in its place He has filled the account with a million dollars credit! Christ has forgiven our sins and imputed to us His virtues. Thus, we are not just free from the guilt of past sins, we are positively worthy through Christ to receive the Holy Spirit – Colossians 1:12. It is as if we had failed an exam, and God not only erases our failure, but gives us a pass with distinction! We are now fully reconciled to God, and it is a righteous act for God to give the Holy Spirit. Our realisation of this is a key since, without it, we will strive endlessly, believing we must earn the gift of the Spirit. There is nothing you can do to earn the gift of the Holy Spirit, or to earn His faithful infilling day by day. All we can do is believe in His justifying grace, and receive.
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